The embattled Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, senator representing Kogi West, Mr. Dino Melaye, has finally spoken from his hideout on the reasons why he will not surrender to the Police.
Mr. Melaye, who had earlier alleged that the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, would inject him with substance that would kill him if he was arrested, compared his challenges to that of Prophet Elijah in the Bible, in a tweet on Tuesday evening.
He also maintained that he will continue to remain in his hideout. It was earlier reported that the Police laid siege to the senator’s Abuja residence on Friday, ending on an aggravating note a turbulent year which began with allegations that the lawmaker was involved in multiple robberies and murder plots.
The siege marks, at least, the fourth attempt to arrest Mr. Melaye by the Police in 2018. Melaye, in his Tuesday tweet, said he was being wise and not scared by hiding. Mr. Melaye said the Bible records Prophet Elijah to be one of the strongest prophets that lived, but he went to Mount Carmel to hide when King Ahab wanted him dead because of the way he declared the truth.
“There is a difference between being scared and being wise,” the controversial lawmaker wrote on Twitter. Melaye is seeking re-election in Kogi on the platform of PDP. He is already facing two different trials by the Police for alleged attempted suicide and allegedly arming criminals.
He was granted bail by the court in both instances. It will be recalled that the Police had already disconnected electricity and water to the premises on 11 Sangha Street, off Mississippi, Maitama, Abuja. Melaye, who has had running battles with the Police, it was gathered, had promised to report to the Police this week.
Meanwhile, some lawyers and senators have kicked against the continued siege to Melaye’s home, even as the Police insisted on its actions, saying “we will not retreat until Senator Dino Melaye surrenders himself for arrest and investigation.”
Mr. Norrison Quakers(SAN), said: “It is indeed unconstitutional and beyond international standard of law enforcement and in violation of the administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015. “I think the Senator should seek redress in court. We are not in a police state but in a constitutional democracy.”
Another lawyer, Mr. Israel Mbaebie said: “What is happening to Dino is a clear extension of what has been the sad hallmark of the excesses of this present government. “It is sad. It is demeaning to all Nigerians that we are witnessing what we have never witnessed not even under the military junta years of Abacha. To imagine that we are in a democracy makes it all even more bizarre if not brazen.” …senators, too some senators, who took a swipe at the Police over the invasion of Melaye’s residence, described the action as barbaric and unacceptable.
Senator Samuel Anyanwu (PDP, Imo East), condemned the Police action. Senator Anyanwu said: “Nigeria is turning into a Police State. We believe that our democracy must be guided. Taking over the residence of Senator Dino Melaye is a sad development. “The Police must, as a matter of urgency, vacate the house.”
Also, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim (PDP, Kwara South) who condemned the action, described it as witch-hunt and political, adding that Senator Melaye was at the National Assembly prior to the holiday and the Police never came for him.
He asked the Police to stop playing politics with everything, urging them to vacate the residence with immediate effect.
The Senate President Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, had earlier faulted the move, arguing that the timing of the action by the Police and the claim that Senator Melaye had been invited were not true.
His words: “The general belief now is that the Police action against Senator Dino Melaye is aimed at keeping him out of circulation so that he would not participate in the February elections. “Though the Police in their statement claimed that there was a request to the Clerk of the National Assembly, inviting Senator Melaye to report to the Police, my enquiry from the clerk showed that he had no such letter.”
We won’t leave here until…—Police
Meanwhile, the Police in a statement, by Jimoh Moshood, Force Public Relations Officer, has maintained their ground, saying “Senator Melaye is wanted by the Police for a case of criminal conspiracy and attempted culpable homicide, committed on July 19, 2018, when Senator Melaye and his thugs attacked Police personnel, shot and wounded Sergeant Danjuma Saliu, attached to 37 Police Mobile Force on stop-and-search duty along Aiyetoro Gbede, Mopa Road in Kogi State.
“Police operatives with a duly obtained warrant of arrest deployed to arrest Senator Melaye in his residence in Abuja will not retreat until Senator Melaye surrenders himself for arrest and investigation.
“It is on record that the Police investigators submitted a letter of invitation on July 23, 2018, by the Commissioner of Police, Kogi State Police Command, addressed to the Clerk, National Assembly, Abuja, inviting Senator Melaye to report on July 26, 2018 at 11a.m., at the Kogi State Police Command, CIID, Lokoja, to answer to a case of criminal conspiracy and attempted culpable homicide against him under investigation in the Kogi State Police Command. “The claim by the Senate President in the media that the Police did not submit a letter of invitation to the Clerk of the National Assembly is, therefore, incorrect. “Despite this, Senator Dino bluntly refused to report himself to the Police till date. “The Force will ensure a thorough investigation into this matter while making sure that the rule of law prevails and that no suspect, no matter how highly placed, involved in any criminal matter escape justice. “We will not retreat until Senator Melaye surrenders himself for arrest and investigation.”